Interview: Deer Jade

Finding success as a model in her late teens gave Jade de Lavareille the ability to travel the world and discover new and exciting cultural influences. One such influence came in the form of electronic music, which she discovered while attending festivals like Burning Man and events in hotspots like Ibiza.

This lead her to dig even deeper and make the decision to pursue a career as a DJ and producer full time, under the ‘guise of Deer Jade. Now several years later the Swiss-artist has released her music on imprints such as Rebellion der Traumer and Stil Vor Talent, and toured on multiple continents.

Her latest production, titled Imhotep, recently released with Stil Vor Talent as a collaboration between herself and German house veteran Niko Schwind.

We caught up with her a few weeks ago to chat about the new track, how she approaches a collaborative project in comparison to an original one, her decision to make the switch from modelling to music, and more. Get the full discussion with Deer Jade below.

You just released your ‘Imhotep’ collaboration with Niko Schwind on Stil Vor Talent, how did you and Niko come to work together?

My agent Friedrich at Stil Vor Talent connected us when I was in Berlin, so we set up a day to meet in his studio and started a project together. We got along really well and had great fun making that track! It took us a couple of days in the studio and some months later at a distance to finish it. Niko is a super talented artist; it was wonderful to get the chance to collaborate with him.

And do you approach a collaboration any differently to an original project?

Most definitely, a collaboration is all about tuning into each other. Everyone brings their own spice and unique signature vibe. I feel like our energies literally add up to each other, bringing so much more depth and richness to the sound we make.

We also must adapt to someone else, listen, be open. We can learn a lot from each other. When one is stuck the other can take over and vice versa, so you don’t get as many blocks or doubts as when you are alone.

Collaborating can be so extraordinarily fun when you are working with people you love that the finished track in the end is simply a bonus, the whole journey and time spent together is the greatest happiness.

Who’s your dream collaboration?

Great question as there are so many. Just to mention a few, I would love to make music with the super talented BØRÅ, Cioz, and Coloray, as I love them as much as their music. Making magic with Acid Pauli, The Organism, Red Axes, or Musumeci is also an absolute dream, I’m literally living for this.

You’ve previously released music on Rebellion der Traumer, Camel Riders, and Stil Vor Talent, which other labels might we expect to see you on in 2022?

My next EP will be on The Gardens Of Babylon. I’m also making a remix for Parallels on Klassified, for Glauco Di Mambro on Gouranga, and I’m working on a special project that will be released on ALUNAWACHUMA, a label where 100% of sales go to preserve our planet earth. Plus more coming up, but I can’t reveal too much, so stay tuned!

Before music you worked as a model, what inspired the change of career?

Music was always a huge passion, but I never imagined that it’s something I could and would do professionally. I always thought I would be a film director. I started modelling for the artistic side of it, for the self-expression and the freedom it seemed to represent. Working with great photographers, film makers, designers, and make-up artists all around the world was so exciting and I’m so grateful for it all.

But soon enough it wasn’t fulfilling for me anymore. Even though it’s a creative industry, as a model you are not asked to create anything, to express your art in any way, to think, to explore. You just have to do what you are told and that can become really draining.

In my free time I was always digging for music and building a library with all different genres. One day a friend showed me Ableton and I was so amazed that I felt like “Wow I would love so much to be able to do this one day!” But I still thought that it was “too late to start” or “not for me”.

Still, my love for music grew so strong that I eventually had an ‘Ah ha’ moment where I realised music was my purpose. Everything was perfectly aligned for me to board this journey and it all made perfect sense. I realised I will never feel like I’m working a day in my life again as I will be doing what I love most as a job, doing what gives me the greatest happiness till the end of time. So, I fully dedicated myself to it and I never looked back a single second!

And what’s one skill that’s important in being a model that you feel transfers well into music?

Probably the ability to fully surrender to the present, to trust the universe and what it will bring you, to not try to control anything but properly relax and be in complete appreciation of what is no matter what.

2021 was a pretty tough year for our industry, and 2022 could really go either way, what’s something you’re hopeful about for 2022?

I’m very hopeful for positive profound changes in our industry. That celebrating can again finally be a synonym for unity, peace, and healing. That parties can be a true medium for raising awareness, inspiring the masses to take the greatest possible care of the planet. To come together and embrace each other, recognise each other as brothers and sisters, walking hand in hand towards the same goal, envisioning and building a more peaceful and joyful new world!

And what’s one of your main goals for this year?

Making more music and especially better music! Improving my skills, playing instruments, collaborating with all these great artists!

Deer Jade & Niko Schwind – Imhotep is out now on Stil Vor Talent.